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The student website of Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The pros and cons of joining a magnet

The school offers three specialized magnets, each offering rigorous, yet nonetheless beneficial programs.
Our+school+offers+three+magnet+programs%3A+the+Performing+Arts+Magnet%2C+Science+Technology+Engineering+and+Mathematics%2C+and+Medical.
THE MIRROR | JALYN BAUTISTA
Our school offers three magnet programs: the Performing Arts Magnet, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, and Medical.

Whether you want to become the next Broadway star or a world-class doctor, the school has a magnet that could spark your interest.

Our school offers three magnet programs: the Performing Arts Magnet, the Medical Magnet and the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Magnet.

These specialized magnets allow students to get a high school education that caters to their interests and enables them to take classes with like-minded people.

Magnet Coordinator Ms. Fanny Arana says that students are given the chance to discover what they truly want to do in the future in these programs.

“Magnet programs are a way of getting students to realize their true interests,” Arana said. “Magnets can help students see ‘Wow, this is something I want to pursue later in life,’ or it lets them see  ‘Wow, I am really glad I had this experience because I don’t want to do this.’”

This is the reason many students, such as freshman Dalia Montoya, attend the school’s magnet programs; to further their interests in their selected field.

“I plan to pursue a career in medicine, so I joined the Medical Magnet, since it seemed like it would be beneficial and help me learn more about the field,” Montoya said.

While not all aspects of each magnet revolve around their specialized topics, they do give students a more in-depth background than they would receive in the residential program.

“Besides biology, most of my classes don’t really talk about the topic of medicine, but I do still believe that my being in the program has expanded my knowledge of the medical field in general,” Montoya said.

The school hopes all students who join their magnet programs are like Montoya and truly do want to learn more about either the Medical, Performing Arts, or STEM career paths.

However, they recognize that some families simply join because they think that being in the magnet gives their students an edge over others.

“Parents seem to think that magnets mean gifted and that is not always the case because magnet doesn’t always mean extra or special,” Arana said. “The goal is to get our students in because they are interested in STEM or Medical or Performing Arts, not because they are under the illusion that magnet kids are better than residential.”

Some students, like senior Brianna Cabusao, believe that magnet classes are more difficult than residential classes, and thus allow students to grow academically.

“The STEM magnet requires 4 years of math and science,” Cabusao said. “Certain classes are much harder than the rest at school, and I think they overall enhance your ability to be better” 

While magnet students are presented with more difficult classes that focus on their specialty, Ms. Arana explained that anyone at Van Nuys can take these classes if they speak with their counselor. 

“The great thing about Van Nuys is whether you are in the magnet or not you have access to everything the school has to offer,” Arana said.

At the end of the day, if you are not in the magnet because you are interested in the specialization it focuses on, there is no benefit in attending it.

The intent of magnet programs has changed, as Ms. Arana explained. The original purpose of the magnet programs was to give children from impoverished communities the chance to attend better schools outside of their residential area.

“Magnet programs were designed and created to allow students to integrate into schools outside of their area,” Arana said. “Later, they began to offer students the opportunity to go to a school that had a specialization.”

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About the Contributor
Mia Ramirez
Mia Ramirez, Staff
I never thought that one day I would sit and write news stories all the time. When I was little the only thing I liked to write about was fairytales and popstars. Now that I am older the focus of my stories have shifted. As a staff writer for The Mirror, I write stories that focus on real people and what they have to say.  I have written multiple stories for the paper and I continue to search for new stories wherever I go. Outside of journalism, I am the captain for Van Nuys’ cross Country team and am constantly looking for new ways to make people smile.
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